Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Protect Your Eggs!

In Local News on March 31, 2009 at 10:02 am

Women who smoke have increased risk of infertility and conception delay. They are at greater risk for fetal death and stillbirths, pregnancy complications, and giving birth to low birth weight babies. Secondhand smoke may also cause low birth weight, miscarriages, and sudden infant death syndrome.


Exposure to secondhand smoke for:

  •  7 minutes causes your heart’s main artery to stiffen and constrict, raising your blood pressure.
  • 30 minutes begins to damage the lining of your lungs and causes your blood platelets to stick together, increasing risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • 2 hours causes your blood vessels to constrict enough to disturb your heart’s rhythm.

1 hour in a closed car with someone smoking = 3 cigarettes

2 hours in a “nonsmoking” restaurant section = 2 cigarettes

8 hours in an office that allows smoking = 6 cigarettes

24 hours in a pack-a-day smoker’s home = 3 cigarettes

2 hours in a smoky bar = 5 cigarettes

As you celebrate life this Easter, don’t let cigarette smoke harm your life or the lives of your family. Avoid restaurants that allow smoking. And remember, you can get FREE help to quit smoking at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.


Smokefree Ordinance Takes Effect In Hancock County

In State News on March 30, 2009 at 7:27 am

HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. – A comprehensive smoke free-ordinance took effect beginning Wednesday, March 25, following action taken in December 2008 by the Hancock County Commissioners.

The move makes all public places, including restaurants, bars and membership clubs completely smoke-free, according to Brandee Bastin, M.A., tobacco initiative coordinator, Hancock Regional Hospital.

“We are pleased and excited to see this ordinance adopted,” says Bastin. “A great deal of appreciation goes to the Commissioners for all their hard work in protecting a great number of Hancock County workers from secondhand smoke exposure.”

Occupational exposure to secondhand smoke causes heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory illnesses, among others. Research shows that blue collar, industrial and hospitality workers are among the highest in on-the-job exposure to secondhand smoke and are subject to increased risk of disease or death due caused by secondhand smoke.

“Hancock County’s new ordinance will ensure that all workers, regardless of their place of employment, are protected from the deadly effects of secondhand smoke. It is especially satisfying to see another Hoosier community take this important step forward,” says Karla Sneegas, executive director, Indiana Tobacco Prevention Cessation.

Hancock County is the 10th municipality in Indiana to adopt a comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinance that protects all workers, including those in restaurants and bars.

Smokefree Laws And Smokefree Restaurants

In Local News on March 27, 2009 at 7:57 am


Cities that enact smokefree workplaces laws see drops in heart attack rates. That’s just one statistic that shows how harmful secondhand smoke is. In Washington, I’ve only found three restaurants that still allow smoking — Ponderosa, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Los Reyes. Restaurants in general, and the the first two restaurants in this list in particular, employ lots of teens. Can you even imagine the harm the secondhand smoke in these restaurants is causing our teens?

We have lots of smokefree options in our county. Most of us will be going out to eat for Easter and Mother’s Day in the next couple months. Let’s patronize and support smokefree restaurants not only to show support for smokefree policies, but to protect the health of our families and loved ones. Restaurant owners that allow smoking often have the misconception that they will lose business if they go smokefree. While that is proven false, lets show them that they can lose business by continuing to allow smoking, harming the health of their customers and employees.

Here is the list I have compiled so far of restaurants in Daviess County that are smokefree. This list is not comprehensive; there are still a few restaurants that I have not been able to determine whether or not they are smokefree.

Arbys, Washington
Black Buggy, Washington
Washington Family Restaurant
Gasthof, Montgomery
Glenna’s Country Diner, Montgomery
Hardees, Washington
Knepp’s Country Café, Washington
Long John Silver’s, Washington
Mason’s, Washington
McDonald’s, Washington
Mi Pueblo, Washington
Mr. Gatti’s, Washington
Odon Essen Haus
Pizza Hut, Washington
Reid’s Deli, Washington
Snack Shack, Washington
Stoll’s Lakeview Restaurant, Loogootee
Stop and Sea, Montgomery
Subway, Washington
Wendy’s, Washington
White Steamer, Washington

Smokefree Workplace Laws Save Lives And Money Without Hurting Business

In State News on March 25, 2009 at 7:39 am

INDIANAPOLIS — In the debate over smokefree workplace laws, both sides brandish research about the health and economic impact of such measures. The studies often contradict one another. That makes it difficult for legislators voting on the issue and reporters covering it to know what to believe.

To help alleviate the confusion, the Indiana University Center for Health Policy conducted a comprehensive review of existing research about the health and economic impact of smokefree workplace laws. It released the findings of that review yesterday.

“There’s a lot of information out there about whether smokefree laws hurt business. Some of that information is intentionally misleading,” said lead author Eric Wright, Ph.D., director of the Indiana University Center for Health Policy and associate dean of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.  “As a neutral, university-based research organization, we were able to sort through the conflicting research and draw bottom-line conclusions that should help legislators at the state and local level in their consideration of smokefree workplace laws.”

“What’s more,” said Wright, “Studies based on unverified data or published in journals that are not peer-reviewed are not credible.  Our review shows that when biased, unqualified studies are left out, what remains is clear: Smokefree workplaces are good for business and good for workers.”

Key findings of the research analysis:

  • While secondhand smoke has been definitively linked to many kinds of health problems, the most significant health consequence related to secondhand smoke is death. Some 50,000 nonsmokers die annually in the United States due to SHS-related illnesses. In 2007, 1194 Hoosiers died from diseases definitively tied to secondhand smoke.
  • Servers, bartenders, dealers and other workers in restaurants, bars and casinos may regularly be exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke. The levels of secondhand smoke in bars are 240 to 1,850 percent higher than those in other workplace smoking environments, such as offices, factories, warehouses, hotels and other service-oriented places. Casinos have secondhand smoke levels 300 to 600 percent higher, while restaurant smoke levels are 160 to 200 percent higher than those in other workplace smoking environments.
  • Smokefree workplace laws do not have a negative economic impact on restaurants and bars. Though business owners fear that smokers will stay away from smokefree restaurants and bars, the data show that the hospitality industry has not lost revenue because of smokefree workplace laws. The IU Center for Health Policy’s analysis found that 47 of the 49 studies on the economic impact to the hospitality industry concluded no adverse affect.
  • Smokefree workplace laws do not hurt casino business. While fewer objective peer-reviewed studies have been conducted on this issue, available research shows no negative revenue impact on total gambling revenue or the average revenue per machine.
  • The public supports smokefree casinos. Surveys show that 70 percent of New Jersey residents and 91 percent of California residents prefer smokefree casinos. 
  • Smokefree workplaces save employers money. Employers who protect their workers from secondhand smoke see savings as a result of improved worker health. Workers are more productive and less likely to be absent, and their employers also enjoy reduced health insurance costs and facility maintenance costs.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure costs Indiana money. Indiana spends $390 million dollars per year on healthcare costs related to secondhand smoke in the workplace.
  • Hoosiers support smokefree workplaces. Three out of four Hoosiers support smokefree workplace laws.

Big Tobacco Using Designer Products To Offset Smokefree Policies

In Local News, State News on March 24, 2009 at 7:40 am


Big Tobacco has come out with several alternative/designer tobacco products — the strips, orbs, sticks, and snus. I’ve discussed the products in detail in previous posts. Some people wonder what the harm of these products are, or why people would want to use them. There are several reasons the tobacco companies are producing these products.

First, they are designed to augment cigarette use as the popularity of smokefree workplace and campus policies increases. Since it’s becoming less socially acceptable to smoke in certain places, Big Tobacco created these products to keep customers addicted, and reduce the likelihood they will quit using cigarettes.

Secondly, since these products look harmless — like breath mints, breath strips, or toothpicks — they seem less dangerous. Since they are so new and because the government does not regulate what tobacco companies put in these products, it’s hard to tell what kind of effects the products will have on people’s health. But they do pack heavy loads of nicotine. The orbs have as much nicotine as three cigarettes. And they do keep people addicted to products — cigarettes — that are known to severely harm health.

I can tell you from personal experience how powerful these products are. When I was making a display of these products to show parents and teachers, I took a snus packet out of its packaging to glue to a page so adults can see what they look like without having to open the container each time. Just from handling the packet enough to glue it to the page, my hand became numb, and I got a headache and felt sick to my stomach. Just from touching the product!

Also, the snus was so heavily flavored/scented with mint (I suppose to cover up the tobacco) that my entire purse smelled like mint before I even broke the seal on the package.

The third reason that Big Tobacco has produced these designer products is to attract children. What child doesn’t love Tic-Tacs or Listerine breath strips? But if they eat these products like the candy they seem to be, the children can get extremely sick or potentially die. These products can be used during school or at home without adults knowing what’s going on, especially since many adults don’t know what these products are. They can also lead to use of cigarettes or chewing tobacco, which have definite negative health effects.

YMCA Healthy Kids Day Fair

In Local News on March 23, 2009 at 9:14 am

The Daviess County TPC coalition had a booth at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day Fair in Washington on Saturday. We had a roulette wheel that kids could spin and answer a question about how tobacco harms the body. We also had displays about the health effects of smoking and chewing tobacco. Several people were interested to learn about the Indiana Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) and took palm cards and fliers to give to their friends and loved ones.

We had a really great turn-out, and I feel like the kids that came by the booth learned a lot about tobacco, especially about all the chemicals that are in tobacco smoke. I had a little poster up that listed the 4,000 ingredients in tobacco smoke, and many were surprised and grossed out to learn that things like toilet cleaner and nuclear waste are in tobacco smoke.

I was very disappointed, however, to see the parents and family of a couple young children sitting in their car in the Y parking lot smoking. The Y is a smoke-free campus, so first of all these people were breaking the Y’s policy. Second of all, they had young children in that car that had no choice but to breathe in that toxic smoke and see their mentors using tobacco. That makes tobacco use seem OK.

We need to change our culture of ambivalence toward tobacco. Tobacco use is not OK. Tobacco companies are killing almost half a million people a year, and allowing that to happen so they can make a profit is not OK. Nearly every person I’ve spoken to has a friend or family member who died from tobacco use, and nearly every child who attended Rick Stoddard’s presentations raised their hand saying they had a loved one die from tobacco use, or they are exposed to secondhand smoke and don’t like it.

Like Rick said, spinach killed three people, and you couldn’t buy spinach anywhere. But tobacco kills almost half a million people a year and we do nothing??? This is unacceptable!

Cessation Services Needed To Reach 2010 Goal

In State News on March 20, 2009 at 7:57 am

On March 12, the CDC released a tobacco related Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that outlines state specific data for 2007 and trends in adult smoking by state between 1998 to 2007. These data are not “new” as ITPC has been using 2007 numbers for some time.

Despite declines in adult smoking prevalence over the past decade, the rates of decline will very likely be too slow in almost all states other than Utah to achieve the Healthy People 2010 objective for reducing adult cigarette smoking prevalence to 12% or less unless comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco control programs — including expanded access to cessation services, such as quit lines — are fully implemented in all states.

  • States varied substantially in both levels of smoking and trends in smoking during the past 10 years, and these variations can be attributed to factors such as differences in population demographics, differing levels of tobacco control programs and policies, and variations in tobacco industry marketing and promotion.
  • In 2007, cigarette smoking prevalence among the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands ranged from 8.7% to 31.1%.
  • Current smoking prevalence was highest in Kentucky (28.3%), West Virginia (27.0%), Oklahoma (25.8%), and Missouri (24.6%); these were almost twofold higher than the states with the lowest prevalence (Utah, 11.7%; California, 14.3%).
  • Men had higher smoking prevalence than women in 30 states, DC, and all three territories; the remaining states had no significant differences in prevalence among men and women.
Smoking Trends
  • Six states (Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had no significant declines in prevalence in the past 10 years.
  • Between 1998 and 2007, there were statistically significant decreases in 44 states, including Indiana. This chart illustrates Indiana’s data over this time period.
Indiana Adult Smoking, 1998-2007


More Rick Pictures

In Local News on March 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

Here are pictures from our Wednesday convocations:

Pike Central Middle/High School

Having a teacher and student read from The List:



Barr-Reeve Junior High

Teacher Kim Fields reads from The List:


Great job, Rick! We loved having you in Daviess and Pike counties, and we hope your message made a difference in the life of each student.

Rick Pictures

In Local News on March 19, 2009 at 8:58 am

Here are pictures I took at each of the schools where Rick spoke Tuesday.

Washington Catholic

Showing the list of ingredients tobacco companies add to their products:


Having a teacher and a student attempt to read from the list of ingredients:


Washington Junior/Senior High School

Showing how much tar a smoker is exposed to after smoking a pack a day for a year:


Telling Marie’s story:


Rick Was Here

In Local News on March 18, 2009 at 5:50 am

Rick Stoddard was in Washington and Washington Catholic schools yesterday and did a great job sharing his moving story and his message with the kids. Several kids were in tears, and several came up to talk to him afterwards.

To find out more about Rick and his message, visit

Today, we will be in Pike County middle and high schools, and at Barr-Reeve. I’ll post pictures tomorrow.